Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hampton Beach Bike Ride

Taking a break at Hampton Beach
If you have never been to Hampton Beach, it is a large, sandy beach located on New Hampshire's brief, but beautiful, coastline.  The area is well known for the extensive sandy beach, a bustling strip of arcades, t shirt shops, and fast food vendors.  It is the perfect place to people-watch, sunbathe, and party.  Try another beach if you are looking for a peaceful ocean stay.  This place is high energy and made for fun!

Matt and I decided to save the gas of driving to the Whites and find an adventure closer to home.  We hopped on our bikes and rode the 10 miles to Hampton Beach from our house in Exeter.  The bike ride was a pleasant one - mostly flat, with a few hills and fair weather.  Even though there isn't much of a bike lane/shoulder in Hampton, the trek is frequently traveled by cyclists and the traffic seemed accustomed to bikes on the road. 

If you are looking for a town-style bike ride to get exercise, food, and beach viewing, try this jaunt from Exeter to Hampton Beach and back.  It is the perfect adventure for able bodied adults who love weekend bike rides.  I don't recommend this one as a child's trek since there is a lot of traffic on the route and little shoulder for safety.

Here's how to recreate this adventure....

Stopping for friend dough on the boardwalk. 
The Adventure:  Hampton Beach Bike Ride

The Route:  It's a "straight shot" from Exeter to Hampton.  We took High Street/NH-27 from Exeter.  Continue on 27, and after a mile or so, High St turns into Hampton Rd.  Stay on this road, and as you cross over the I-95 overpass, NH-27 turns into Exeter Rd.  You will cross a light at Lafayette Rd and continue onto High Street.  This road brings you to the beach.  We turned right and rode along the beach on Ocean Blvd.  Along Ocean Blvd we made stops to grab fried dough, enjoy the beach, and on the way back, get a beverage.  We returned to Exeter the same way making our full bike ride over 20 miles.

Ending the day with a beverage and snack at
North Street Bar and Grill.
Difficulty:  The bike ride is easy as far as terrain goes.  Gradual hills make it a pleasant and easy ride.  I do not recommend it for families or children because the NH-27, although not too busy, does not have much of a shoulder and could be dangerous.

Distance:  10-11 miles one way, 20-28 round trip depending on your stay in Hampton and starting point in Exeter.

Recommendations:  Bring at least a liter of water per person, a rain jacket, and sun protection for the ride. Matt and I enjoyed friend dough at Fry Doe on Ocean Ave, and on the way back, an afternoon beverage and snack at North Street Bar and Grill on the corner of High Street and Ocean Ave.

We loved our break from hiking and enjoyed the exercise and fresh air the bike ride provided.

Please leave comments and questions below...

Shops on the strip at Hampton Beach, NH.